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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

How's the weather up there?

Or should I say, 怎么样那里? Apparently China has gotten a national case of Short Man Syndrome according to this article. It seems certain Chinese will go to extreme lengths (no pun intended) to gain a few inches including stretching, pulling, breaking bones, and buying odd contraptions to make them taller. The craze has stretched to all areas of the Chinese culture and we are now seeing vestiges of it on Chinese television. Please look at a transcript of the long running Chinese drama "Kindred Spirit"(真情) which has been re-vamped.

Kindred Spirit - Episode 1129 "A Tall Man is Preferred"

Int Bing's Restaurant Day

Bing and Shin are preparing tables for dinner and cleaning up from a busy lunch. Bing is wearing rather uncomfortable looking "elevator" shoes with about a four inch lift in them.

Bing: Char siu business was good today. I hope tonight will compare.

Shin: Why don't you take off those silly shoes?

Bing: Shin, you know what we read in the trade papers. People respect a taller person more and are likely to purchase from them. Char siu does not sell itself.

Shin: Yes, but you look ridiculous. Still I guess it is better than the stretching machine. Poor Lap Sang will never be the same.

Lap Sang enters and his arms stretch to the ground, his knuckles are dragging across the floor.

Lap Sang: What's up pop?

Shin runs out of the room crying (again) as Bing comes over to sit down with his son.

Bing: Son, don't worry about her. How is your search for a job going?

Lap Sang: They turned me down at the city hospital, they say they don't have a thoracic surgery residency for a man with four-foot long arms. The circus is in town next week though.

Bing: The circus is a noble profession son, don't let that unfortunate incident that befell cousin Lin cloud your vision.

Grandma Ga enters with Shin comforting her as they go along.

Shin: (through tears) Don't forget that Sei Ma is bringing her new boyfriend to eat tonight.

Bing: They will have the finest seat in the house.

Int Bing's Restaurant Evening

Sei Ma and her boyfriend Yao Ming enter to audience applause, although there is no studio audience.

Sei Ma: Let's just find a seat in the back, maybe my parents...

Bing: Sei Ma, I thought you would be...(seeing Yao for the first time) holy smokes, who is this?

Sei Ma: This is my new boyfriend Yao. Yao, this is my father Bing.

Bing: The pleasure is all mine. Let me guess, you are a famous brain surgeon? I can see it by your height.

Yao: Actually I'm a basketball player.

Bing: No matter, you have potential. Not like Sei's last boyfriend, he was at the most 5'4" , I mean what could he ever hope to be. Maybe a fishmonger or utility pole hole digger but you must be 9 feet tall, you could be a prime minister.

Yao: I'm really only about 7'6".

Sei Ma: Daddy, height is not everything. Napolean was only 5'6"...

Bing: And look what happened to him. He may have been victorious at Waterloo had he been, oh 6'2" or even 5'11 1/2.

Yao: I hear you have delicious char siu, Mr Bing.

Bing: Butt out of this, Lurch, I'm trying to correct my daughter.

Sei Ma: Father, you are never going to change, I hate you and your obsession with height as a predictor of success.

Yao: Who's Lurch?

Bing: You would never talk to me this way if I was 6'4"!!!

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